Where are the best software developers? Not Silicon Valley

Technical recruiter HackerRank says the best developers are in Washington and Wyoming, based on the results of its coding skills tests

When it comes to determining which state has the best developers, California, the home of Silicon Valley, might immediately come to mind. But according to technical recruiter HackerRank, the top state is Washington.

HackerRank, which offers coding skills tests, examined its own data and found Washington had the most skilled developers on the company’s platform. Right on Washington’s heels, albeit with a smaller concentration of developers, was Wyoming. Developers in these two states dominated in algorithms, the domain with the largest share of challenges solved on the company’s platform. California placed third overall and ranked in the top 10 across multiple domains.

“It’s certainly notable that Washington outranks California. Silicon Valley gets a lot of the hype but places like Seattle are also home to some of the most innovative and influential companies in the tech industry,” HackerRank CEO Vivek Ravisankar said. Results of the HackerRank study were released today.

The company looked at challenges across eight domains including algorithms, functional programming, math, data structures, Ruby, C++, Python, and Java. The criteria in the actual tests vary by domain. Each of these core skill areas have multiple challenges. Results were determined through an examination of coding submissions from 2015 and 2016. Data from about 450,000 unique developers was considered. The top 10 states as far as the best developers were:

  1. Washington
  2. Wyoming
  3. California
  4. New Mexico
  5. Wisconsin
  6. South Dakota
  7. Nevada
  8. New York
  9. Connecticut
  10. Virginia

The leading states in each of the eight technology domains were:

  • Algorithms: Wyoming
  • Java: Oregon
  • Functional programming: Washington, DC
  • Python: Hawaii
  • Data structures: Wyoming
  • C++: Louisiana
  • Ruby: Wyoming
  • Math: Oklahoma

HackerRank found growing developer communities and skilled developers all across the country. Previously, the highest concentrations of developers did not stray far from the tech hubs in California. Hawaii, Colorado, Virginia, and Nevada demonstrated the fastest growth in terms of developer activity on the HackerRank platform.

“Today, as the demand for developers goes beyond technology and as there is more opportunity to work remotely, there’s a more distributed workforce of skilled developers across the nation, from the Rust Belt to the East Coast,” Ravisankar said. You can read the full report on the HackerRank blog

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